Whanganui River Canoes

Guided Canoe Tours

3 Days

We offer three-day guided tours from Whakahoro to Pipiriki.

If you want to do this trip over four days, it is an excellent option for families and we can stop at different accommodation along the way.

Minimum numbers apply.

Whanganui River Canoes


Difficulty Level - Easy

Suitable for

  • Families with Children aged 7+
  • Groups of friends
  • Couples looking for a getaway
  • Beginner Paddlers

Check out each day's itinerary below

After our watching our safety briefing, and packing your gear enjoy a hot coffee at our base before you hop on our shuttle at 8am for the 1.5 hour drive from Raetihi through a no exit gravel road to Whakahoro. 

Our guides will give you a paddling brief and when you feel confident, you will head off onto the water.

On this day you will experience seven hours of paddling, with the guides telling you their stories along the way. 

You will have breaks for snacks, lunch, and to explore sites like Tamatea’s cave, take in the view of Man of War Bluff, our guides will safely paddle you past the Whirlpool on this night, you will paddle to John Coull Campsite or hut. 

The guides will get on to preparing your dinner, and you will all sit down to enjoy delicious hot food, and chat about your day. If you are staying in tent sites, you can start setting up the tents while the guides are cooking – and then you will have plenty of time to rest afterwards.

Paddle to the Bridge to Nowhere Lodge/campground – our Tieke Hut/Campground. You will see plenty of beautiful spots on the river today – the Mangawaiiti campsite is a neat spot to stop and look, paddle past the Otumangu Landing, and arrive at the Bridge to Nowhere Landing. 

Walk 45 minutes through the valley of abandoned dreams until you reach the Bridge to Nowhere- a perfect opportunity for photos. Along the walk, you will see signs with the names of settlers who owned/lived/and worked on the area you walk past – their abandoned plows are scattered beside the pathway – a sad reminder of their hard work. 

Read the signage at the Bridge to Nowhere to understand the history of the valley (you will even see the old wires of an abandoned swing bridge).

After walking back to your canoes and feasting on your lunch there will be another 2-3 hour paddle to your accommodation. 

We often book Tieke Kainga, where you will often be greeted by a Maori Powhiri. 

Other trips, we book at the Bridge to Nowhere Lodge, which has a comfy lounge, flushing toilets and hot showers – and a breathtaking view from the deck where you can enjoy a drink from their bar. 

We book accommodation based on availability, and group sizes.

Paddle the final 21 km to Pipiriki where you will be met by our shuttle driver and be driven back. 

On this day depending on river levels, our guides will point out a spot on the river where the sulphur smell wafts out from the cliff face. 

You will have fun paddling through Ngaporo Rapids (and perhaps stop there for a break). 

The Puraroto caves are a favourite spot on the river, and if you have time get to splash around in their mud pools. Then the famous Autapu rapid. 

Our guides try to get you through nice and dry – but if you are up for adventure you can paddle the Autapu rapid a few times – you may get a little wet.

Our usual meeting time in Pipiriki is 2pm but we let you know closer to the time as it does depend on river levels. You would be back at our base between three and five pm.

We look forward to providing you with an unforgettable experience as we share our world with you!

Whanganui River Canoes
Canoe Kayak Tramp
Whanganui River
Canoe Kayak Tramp

We look forward to providing you with an unforgettable experience as we share our world with you!